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Granny square throw -- how to clean?

Posted by jamies (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 14, 13 at 10:28

Hello crocheters,

I have a granny square throw with sentimental value. I want to give it to my niece and I'd like to have it cleaned first. But I fear that cleaning it could make go out of square or develop curled corners.

It is very soft and floppy -- I have a feeling it is very high quality wool, but I can't really tell for sure. It is lightweight and kind of open in feel.

(Haha, now that I have looked closely at it and described it to you, I want to keep it. Forget my niece! My mom made it, and there's more yarn left and I even have the hook she used.)

I believe that "blocking" is something that you used to be able to have done at a good dry cleaner? I don't live near a "good" dry cleaner, and I don't even know if they practice this kind of art any more, or if that's what I need.

What is the recommended method to clean my throw without harming it?

If I have to have it professionally done, would you please tell me the right questions, or magic words to use to make sure it gets done right? I've had some really lousy experiences with dry cleaners in recent years.

I don't crochet or do much of anything beyond hemming with iron-on tape, but maybe I could do this myself? How?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Granny square throw -- how to clean?

Jamies,
The first thing I would do is find out exactly what kind of yarn the afghan is made from. If you have a needleshop close to you take the afghan in and show it to them.

Since you have some of the same yarn you can call a shop and mail them a piece of the yarn with an inquiry. Most will respond if you call and talk to them first. I would be afraid to trust it to dry cleaning with out being able to tell them the exact materials used.

Post a pic and you may get more advice on how to crochet the pattern.


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RE: Granny square throw -- how to clean?

You have yarn, do a burn test. Take some ran and try to burn it.
This will tell what yarn it is made of. Once you know that you can know how to wash.

Acrylic...washer and dryer..nothing special
Wool/wool blend...hand wash, good soap to use..baby shampoo. NOT woo lite, it is too harsh. Put in cool..not cold water, gently swish. Let sit for about 15 minutes, swish again. Ring out ( can use delicate cycle of washer, but do not use hot water) lay on flat surface, stretch to proportions you want (block), air dry.

DO NOT DRY CLEAN

Here is a link that might be useful: Burn test


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RE: Granny square throw -- how to clean?

Don't use baby shampoo - the pH is wrong for wool. Go to a yarn store and purchase some wool wash. It will clean better and rinse better.

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 13:49


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RE: Granny square throw -- how to clean?

(IMO) Wool wash is unnecessary (& I believe a rip off). I'd OK using liquid dish soap & cold water.

The issue here is not just the soap, it's also the agitation, I'm not a swisher, it's too much motion. I'd just dip & lift it out & rinse several times.

That burn chart maybe nice but it's way too complex. As a lifelong textile person & a recovering textile designer who went to Textile School, allow me to condense this into the short version.

I think the chart is too focused on smell; which can be both relative &/or subjective. I think it's relying too much on smell as indicator of surface application of chemicals (known as finishes, in the industry). Also, I've discovered over the yrs. that many people either have no sense of smell or a lousy one.

As a former (lifelong) smoker, one would think I'd have a bad sense of smell. In truth I had a great sense of smell before & now 5 yrs. after no tobacco, I'm like a gosh darn bloodhound; I smell EVERYTHING, not always what one wants.

if it smells of burning hair, it's a protein like wool or silk.

if it smells like burning paper, it's something like cotton, rayon or maybe linen (I forgot its smell).

ANY hard bead residue left over is at least partly synthetic (will cause it to burn to residue of bead).

ANY softer ash like residue is likely all natural & plant based at that (cotton, rayon, ramie or related blends).

Pls. be sure to do the burn test over an ash tray or the sink & perhaps use tweezers.

Anyway, I'd try the burn test first & then decide how to proceed.

Good for you deciding to keep the Afghan for yourself, especially if your Mom had made it (& you even have her hook)!


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